Treble Malakai Bayoh reduces judges to tears with ‘divine’ Puccini aria on Britain’s Got Talent
2 June 2023, 11:51 | Updated: 2 June 2023, 16:41
Malakai Bayoh delivers stunning performance on BGT
Watch Malakai’s emotional performance of ‘O mio babbino caro’ on Britain’s Got Talent, which won the 13-year-old treble the public vote and secured him a place in Sunday’s final.
A young treble with a love of opera, and one of the most remarkable voices, is through to the grand finale of the UK’s biggest talent show – following his performance of a Puccini aria that brought floods of emotion from the night’s judges.
Malakai Bayoh is a third former at London’s Cardinal Vaughan Memorial School. In April, with the eyes of the nation upon him, he sang the soaring ‘Pie Jesu’ from Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Requiem in his first televised audition on Britain’s Got Talent.
“One of the best voices I think I’ve ever heard,” said judge Simon Cowell as he pressed the competition’s Golden Buzzer.
From that moment, a Britain’s Got Talent star was born. And in his semifinal performance on Thursday night, Malakai turned to the operatic world, singing Puccini’s much-loved aria ‘O mio babbino caro’ from the one-act opera Gianni Schicchi. The soaring melody is an enduring favourite and suited Malakai’s voice perfectly.
Makalai Bayoh reduces Bruno Tonioli to tears in BGT performance
There might have been some very understandable nerves in the opening notes, but when the young man’s musicality took hold, buoyed by the support of the crowd, it simply soared, with an unforgettable, sustained high note at the end.
These were notes that reduced judge Bruno Tonioli to floods of tears and earned the young man a standing ovation from all four judges.
“You’re a gift from God. You sang one of my favourite arias from Puccini,” the British-Italian entertainer said, wiping away tears. “It is incredible to have a boy like you producing this divine sound.”
According to Cowell, it was another “golden” vocal offering.
“Pitch perfect. It’s one of my favourite pieces of music,” remarked Amanda Holden.
Watch the performance, and the emotional reactions in full here.
TV audiences were clearly equally moved. Malakai won the public vote on Thursday night and is through to Sunday's Britain’s Got Talent final.
“I’m so buzzed. It makes me feel very happy,” the treble said after his path was confirmed.
It’s been a whirlwind seven months for the young singer. From a Royal Opera House solo debut, to singing on the Royal Albert Hall stage at Classic FM Live. Malakai also went viral at Christmas in duet with singer and Classic FM presenter Aled Jones. Their videos of ‘O Holy Night’ and ‘Walking in the Air’ together have amassed over 25 million views.
After the performance, Cowell remarked on his “pride” in hearing this semifinal performance and witnessing another step in this incredible journey.
Malakai attributes his love for singing to his mum, and tonight, before the eyes of a nation, he did her proud too.